T.D. 5 weakens, but still an area of concern

Tropical Depression 5 has formed east of the Windward Islands and is forecast to become Tropical Storm Ernesto.

The Cayman Islands is in the 5-Day Cone. However, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), just when the disturbance in the tropical Atlantic was officially designated to be a tropical depression, the convection then promptly became more ragged and diminished, and since then the convection has been erratic and the depression has struggled. It’s hanging on by a thread, though in the latest satellite images the convection has flared up a bit. During its formation, T.D. 5 had been in favorable atmospheric conditions, underneath the upper-level subequatorial ridge and avoiding most of the dry air and wind shear that’s been around, but it is now having more trouble avoiding those hostile conditions. Given that and the depression’s current state, its future intensity, as is so often the case with tropical cyclones, has a lot of uncertainty. NHC in their discussion is even noting the possibility of T.D. 5 degenerating into a tropical wave or remnant low. In the short-term, the Cayman Islands will have to continue to monitor the system.

The timeline and track forecasts are more straightforward, assuming it survives. That is still for it to arrive tomorrow in the Lesser Antilles with heavy rain and gusty winds; exactly how much wind will depend on the nature and strength of the system at that point. Then it’ll move between W and WNW across the eastern and central Caribbean this weekend, likely to a longitude abeam of Jamaica by Monday. If it’s still intact at that point and is a tropical cyclone, where it goes from there during the middle and latter part of next week will depend on if the subtropical ridge to the north of it is sufficiently solid and it continues into Mexico or Central America, or if there’s enough of a weakness in the ridge to allow for it to take a more northward track in the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami is currently predicting only a 10 to 20 percent chance that the Cayman Islands could be affected by Tropical Storm winds within the next 5 days, the Tropical Depression serves as a reminder that residents need to be prepared.

Residents should have a week’s supply of non-perishable food and water, a portable radio, a flashlight, and extra batteries available at all times, but particularly during the hurricane season.

Cayman 27 will continue to monitor any developments on this weather system.

  • Anonymous

    From blackout, to no budget, to storm, and to tax. What more oh Lord!

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